Why I blog: A message to my fellow bloggers

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Why I blog: A message to my fellow bloggers

Hi friends,

Recently I’ve been doing a serious evaluation on this whole blogging business – why on Earth do we do this and what exactly is the end goal? Is this a black hole secretly disguised as a hobby?

Going straight for the fundamentals, I attempted to contrive the actual reason why I am here and who I’m here for. I quickly resolved that this virtual space was to keep friends and family back in Virginia in the loop on our lives overseas. Stuart just looked at me. That wasn’t it. For one thing, my own parents struggle to remember to check the blog much less the web address. I can’t fault them though, Skype and email just work better. So if this space isn’t for them, then who is it for? Why, oh why, do I dedicate hours upon hours tooling around in Lightroom, attempting to solve the SEO riddle, and writing then re-writing posts? I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t lost sleep evaluating the “voice” of my blog. As an outsider, some may think this is completely nuts. Would all this hard work really be necessary if a quick Skype session effectively gets the same job done?

My second thought was that perhaps this whole charade is for me. In a lot of ways, I think it is. Looking back at old posts from our travels, I can’t deny how proud I am to see the whole thing put together- the words and images detailing our experiences create the pages of a personal yearbook. I appreciate the convenience I’ve created for myself to rehash great memories. Guten Blog Y’all or not, I’d still attempt to document our travels but the blog has encouraged me to improve the degree in which I absorb and capture the experience. The pre-blog Margo most certainly was not reading plaques on statues or carefully reviewing guidance for navigating a museum.

Finally, I came to the conclusion that the blog, and the work that it entails, is mainly about this blogging community and my enjoyment in being apart of it. For me, the blogosphere has become the ultimate source of inspiration and perspective. Over the past year I’ve salivated at dishes coming from kitchens in Michigan and London, and have stepped into the shoes of an American in Iceland, an Australian in London, and a Swede in Paris. I’ve virtually trekked through just about all of Europe and enjoyed the beauty of the beaches in Thailand. I’ve been moved by the photography of bloggers in DC and Brussels. When my homesickness for the US has gotten the best of me, I’ve found comfort in peeking back at life in Dallas, Las Vegas, Portland, and Richmond. Following along with the journeys of fellow bloggers has been like watching a movie, but the characters are real. Watching and learning from others experiences has encouraged me to take charge and make more of my own. Inspired by the photos of my blog-buddies, I’ve surprised myself with how quickly I’ve been able to improve my own photography by truly applying myself. Writing, which has never been my forte, has started to become more comfortable. Although I may have always had an itch for travel, going off the map to experience and share something truly unique has become a priority. Heck, this weekend I even baked a grapefruit (!), went on a solo excursion to photograph a small German village and painted something for the first time since middle school. I’ve made a lifestyle out of trying new things and, unknowingly, I’ve been growing this whole time. Ultimately, contributing to this inspirational space has brought a lot of joy and that is why I blog. For that I just want to say thanks, thanks for your sweet comments on my posts and just for taking the time to follow along with my story. Most importantly, thank YOU for inspiring me.

Hugs,

Margo

 
  • Love this post and I couldn’t agree more. Blogging for me is the same way, it’s a place that I have found incredible people and made myself go outside of my comfort zone in a wonderful way! As bloggers we sort of find our “kindred spirits” if you will, around the globe and in that, I feel incredibly comforted!

  • Great post. I can totally agree with you. When I first started blogging I thought it was mainly to find my ‘own voice’. But now, almost 2 years later, I’ve found out that behind all those blogs is a wonderful community of inspiring people. And all those inspiring posts indeed lead you to try new things in life, things you might have never heard of before.

  • what a wonderful perspective. I totally agree. it is kind of an odd experience but totally worth it.

  • 1. I absolutely adore your new blog layout
    2. On that note I adore your romper in the picture because I work at Anthropologie and have been wanting to buy that romper for weeks
    3. Seeing your blogging experience and journey is so inspiring! It really helps me put into perspective why I started blogging and how I really need to get back to it and take time to rediscover myself in blogging. I am working on a wordpress blog right now with a marketing/career advice focus, but I hope I can grow it into something more!

  • New design! I really like it! I think blogging has made me pay attention more when traveling and in life. I love all the new things to try and learn, and blogging kind of gives me a purpose and direction for that along with a place to document it all.

  • OMG. I am constantly asking myself this same question! I really enjoy blogging, but damn if it isn’t stressful and time-consuming. I am so up-in-the-air on whether or not I will continue the blog or where I want my blog to go… AHHHH! It makes me crazy! You’ve done such an amazing job with yours though, you da bomb! 😉

  • This is such a great post and is almost exactly my experience with blogging as well!

  • I struggle with why I blog all the time. I haven’t really decided why I keep on doing it. I think I like having it as a document of my travels and of things I have seen and done. Something to look back on. I think it also helps me be in the moment more too and appreciate where I am.

  • I have a very similarly named post sitting in my drafts all about Why I blog and it pretty much says a lot of what you say: I don’t do it to keep people updated and I don’t just do it for me (though that’s part of it), but the blogging community wins and the awesome other blogs that make me go – now THAT’S awesome. So thanks to you too 🙂 xx

  • I think that as long as you’re happy with how your blog is and the purpose it serves for you, it’s a good thing! It’s probably wise to put some actual thought into that, as you have. I think your writing is wonderfully descriptive and relatable and I’ve enjoyed following your Euro adventures 🙂 PS – love the new look!

  • Aww. I absolutely think that you can drive yourself a bit mad if you start thinking too hard about blogging. It is, at its heart, kind of pointless and selfish but so many people do it for a reason. I totally agree with all of your thoughts and my trajectory was pretty similar: I started it for friends and family and now it’s become a way to connect with other people.

  • I LOVE this. I’ve recently come to terms that blogging really is a ‘me’ thing. It’s a way of feeling accomplished and proud, as well as a great way to document our lives. Plus, the blogging community has been so amazing. It’s weird how you can read blogs by people all over the world, yet feel more connected to them just by the similar lifestyle choices you share. LOVE the new layout btw!

  • Love this!! I have to think about WHY I blog sometimes as well. I feel lately I have been a bit slack and haven’t been posting as much as I used to… I love being part of the community though!

  • That was beautiful 🙂 It’s hard for me to pin down exactly what I love about blogging, but the community is probably the biggest thing. The people I’ve met and hearing their stories has been so awesome. Thanks for being an inspiration yourself! 🙂

  • What a thoughtful and reflective post, love these mixed in with all the travel goodness. Gorgeous photo and love the new blog look. Keep up the good work and thanks for reminding us why blogging is worth all the effort.

  • glad i’m not the only one! haha sometimes my husband thinks it’s crazy how many hours i spend on it. anyhow i am so glad to have met you through the blogosphere! 🙂 i feel like through blogging i have friends all over the world. 🙂

  • …I think you hit the head right on the noggin!!…Sure, it’s easier to e-mail, or G-chat or something, but what I love about blogging is that sense of international community and perspective that you’re talking about, :-)…

  • I’ve been thinking about this too and come up with a similar conclusion. Blogging makes me want to live life just a touch more colorfully – out in the world.

  • Call me incredibly cheesey, but I love your reference of ‘kindred spirits’ so much that I found a definition and had to share because it’s so appropriate for us bloggers:

    Kindred Spirits are two people that make a special connection by sharing a bond that has joined them by the means of an experience that has drawn them together on a higher level of consciousness. This connection can be from the same experience at the same time or two separate experiences similar in nature.

    I love it. You hit the nail on the head. 🙂

  • I agree. It is most certainly not what I was anticipating when starting my blog either (can we call it “blogspiration”?) – instead just a pleasant surprise the evolved into a purpose. 🙂

  • Blogging IS an ‘odd experience’ is an honest way of putting it. Kind of like being a gamer, but cooler, I think…

    🙂

  • Ha, I appreciate that you support the romper! This picture is actually from my bachelorette party, I wore it out one night and appreciated that it was appropriately scandalous- it’s so short! 🙂

    I’m so happy that GBY (can I make it an acronym?) provides you a little blogspiration! You’ve got quite a balancing act going on on your end so that gives ME inspiration too. Best of luck with school, blogging AND mapping out that post-college plan. It’s not easy!

  • I couldn’t agree more. I think a lot of us overlook the value of this whole ‘documenting’ notion too. There’s a lot to be said about virtually scrap-booking everything! 🙂

    Glad you like the new layout. I spent the rainy weekend tooling around in my HTML, I’m pretty happy with how it all came together! 🙂

  • Girl. If there’s one thing I can say, it’s that you’ve seriously got it together. Somehow in the matter of a few months you’ve conquered the twitter, IG, AND blogging game – you’re so on the ball that it gives ME inspiration. Coordinating IG pics with blog posts. Coordinating your fonts/style. Oh, and making me (and everyone else, I’m sure) want to sneak up to London to party with Team Starnes. I’m soooo inspired AND proud of you.

  • Thanks so much dear! It all kind of dawned on me on Saturday and I had to share. 🙂

  • Yes, I completely understand. There’s a lot to be said about being able to document your own experiences. Whenever I’m back in the States I’m sure I’m going to be look back fondly on all of these European experiences and am going to be so grateful they were recorded. As you said, it also helps with really experiencing things – despite weather, crowds, or cost!

  • You’re so sweet. It’s funny how it all dawned on me on Saturday and I just had to share. I definitely look forward to your post though as I’m sure it’ll bring to light another perspective, even if the general idea is the same. 🙂

    Whenever I get up to London next we must “blate” (though I hate the term)! 🙂

  • I feel the same way!! This little community is SO inspiring!! I never in a million years thought I would be a “blogger” but it seems fitting for the moment and I have really loved “getting to know others”. And looking back on posts is a wonderful experience….its more than just a photo….we do our travels more justice!! Love your blog girl!

  • Love this! The community blogging creates is what keeps me coming back as well and has really came into my life at the best time!

  • I agree that the community aspect of blogging plays a huge role! There’s many good reasons. 🙂 And my far-away family members are definitely my biggest blog fans–I keep writing for them even when I feel a little lazy…

  • I certainly didn’t expect to get to know so many people from so many different countries when I started blogging either! But it’s so great to follow other people’s adventures and share similar experiences. Especially when it comes to moving abroad for the first time. It’s so comforting for me to know that other people have experienced the same nerve-wracking stages of moving abroad before 😉

  • MARGO! this is utterly and beautifully poetic. I agree with every word and every sentiment…it started out as something, who knows what, and my life has become so much more full and inspired with your blog and fellow bloggers. but, we all know you’re one of the top 😉 xx oo

  • I LOVE this. There is so much I have learned through others experiences on here, and so many places I’ve never thought to visit, that now are top priorities. I have been in the blog world for a short while now, but I’ve fallen so in love with the community! And that includes you – THANK YOU for sharing your life and adventures with all of us!

  • I completely agree. Casey from True Colours commented below that us bloggers are somewhat kindred spirits in that we all have sincere connections based on similar experiences. I think it describes this odd little blog world perfectly. 🙂 I love your blog- ‘me thing’ and all! Keep up the great work my dear! 🙂

  • Honestly, I think that summer plays a huge role in every aspect of life. Who wants to sit in front of a computer when it’s beautiful outside? I sure don’t! I AM so glad that you’re in my little community though! I like the idea that we’re virtual neighbors.. or is that creepy? 🙂

  • You are so sweet – right back atcha dear! What I’d give to hop over to Savannah and have some of that cobbler. I’m so happy you’re in the our community. 🙂

  • You make me blush, my dear! Thanks for all the sweet compliments about my blog, photo and post – you’re a doll! 🙂 I’m happy that you’re a proponent for travel posts and real-life posts, I was a little unsure if this real life commentary is an avenue I wanted to go down but I’m definitely glad I did.

  • amen! you’ve definitely got a friend in me, dear! tell your husband to shush! 😀

  • Thanks, Betty! I’m glad we’re in the same boat on this. Although I’m sure blogging is different for everyone, once I finally figured out why I do it it’s given me renewed energy. 🙂

  • I love this comment about living life more colorfully – whether that means living in Europe (lucky us) or just trying a new recipe. I feel like I want to trademark “Live Life Colorfully” but I don’t want to steal it from you. 🙂

  • You’re so sweet! Glad that you feel the same way and I’m SO glad that you’re in the community! I’ve really-really enjoyed following along with your adventures and have certainly used your frequent travels as a reason to get off the couch (ahem, where I am now…) and do my own. 🙂 I’m so pumped for A’dam!

  • Yeah, I completely agree. It’s filled a huge void in my life when I moved away from home/friends/English speakers. 🙂 I’m so happy you’re in the community, you’ve definitely brought a great perspective on a country I formerly knew little about.

  • I think ultimately the pros far outweigh the cons and that’s what is really important, right? You’re so right about those remote family members, they help keep the fire burning!

  • …Good for you!!…And besides, it’s perfectly healthy to vent to people you may not have physically met every once in a while!!…

  • Aww 🙂 Are you headed there by yourself?? Brave lady! While Van was away in Africa I ventured out by myself…but only day trips.

  • Ahh, yes! I couldn’t agree more! When I got the offer to move to Germany, I immediately googled “blogger Germany” and found ‘We Took the Road Less Traveled’. I’d credit that blog as one of the biggest factors on my decision. It put the reality of living here, both pros and cons, right on the table. Ultimately, there’s a lot of comfort to be found in knowing that you’re not the one having to pave the way. 🙂

  • Oh, no, I’m heading up there with my family in a few weeks! Just day trips for me while Dan is away. I had a thought that I’d go camping in Lucerne last weekend but Dan quickly nixed the solo-camping idea. (In hindsight that would have been a little crazy.)

  • Annie you seriously have the key to my heart. You always know exactly what to say to make me feel soo, so good. I’m glad you identified with my thoughts on blogging and am SO glad that you’re in this little community!

    And, Jordan and I don’t want you to move. There, said it.

  • LOL! yeah…that would be crazy!!!

  • Thanks so much Marissa, I’m glad you identified with my thoughts and more importantly, I’m glad you’ve found the enjoyment I have in being part of this community. 🙂

  • Thanks so much, Camila! This post definitely took a few drafts to finally figure out what I was feeling so I’m glad you liked it and identified. 🙂 I think every hobby, in a way, is a bit selfish so don’t feel bad!

  • Caity, you are SO sweet. Thanks for your kind words! Not that I’m the blogging community mayor, but WELCOME. I’m so happy you’ve joined and am looking forward to following you along in London. 🙂

  • Same here, your photos make me feel like I am traveling all the time they are so beautiful! Glad were both apart of this awesome community!

  • Love that definition 🙂

  • Yeah blogging! I love that I get to try new things all the time

  • high five Margo! this is perfect. i definitely first and foremost blog for myself, simply because i love it, and also at the top of the list – to try and help others discover things and places i love, just as i’ve done from other blogs. like yours! x

  • Agreed! What’s the craziest new thing that you’ve tried? I literally ate slugs in Spain (they had been boiled) because I thought I could write a story about the experience. Instead I just kind of grossed myself out and didn’t really want to think about it again. Ha.

  • Big high 5 right back at you because that’s exactly what you’ve done – encouraged me to return (soon) to London to explore all those fun restaurants/places you’ve gone to AND to try new things in the kitchen! 🙂 Yay for both of us. I really am SO happy that you’re in this community! Now I want to do some sort of cheer.. ;D

  • Amen, sister! 🙂

  • I tried crazy things before I started blogging, but it just reinforces my desire to try new things and get out there! Especially in situations where it can be a bit uncomfortable (like when moving to a new country and not knowing anyone!).

  • Yeah, that’s definitely a great example – I definitely doubt I’d be going to many solo weekend trips if it weren’t for this little blog. How do you like Lithuania? Dan and I are really interested to see that part of the world.

  • It took us a while to get used to living in Lithuania, but now that we’ve found our niche it is great. Vilnius is a beautiful city that you could spend a weekend wandering. I also like Klaipeda, which is a sea-side city in northern LT. We also took a weekend trip to Riga, Latvia and it was really great. We are planning a trip to Tallinn sometime this year so I’ll let you know how it is. If you ever head to Eastern Europe let me know!

  • This was too true, and close to perfection.

    I couldn’t have agreed any more with what you said throughout this post. I absolutely love the atmosphere of the blogging community and I enjoy being apart of it.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    http://naturallyjes.blogspot.com.au

  • Full agreement. I started my own blog roughly a month before I moved to Germany, specifically so that my family and friends back in the states could sort of travel with me, but I found very quickly that my family and friends back home almost never comment on the blog, but an entire community of expat bloggers around me does. Since then I’ve been to several blogger meet-ups, and many of the people who write other blogs have become real-life friends.

    I still don’t know what will become of my blog when I move back to the US in a few months.

  • Such a great read! You encouraged me, going throughout sometimes the same question -whom am i doing this for?- and inspired me to do always better and better. Thanks 🙂

  • I love this post! Same reasons for me. I do it for pure enjoyment. Its one of my hobbies!

  • you’re the sweetest. thanks so much for your incredibly kind words, so happy you’re in this blogging community too! 🙂

  • Such wise words! I’ve recently been wrestling with these same questions, and your reflections have inspired me. Thank you 🙂

  • This is so great and to the point! We have been thinking about the same things. There are just so many things I want to do and then I sit down and try to figure out how to put the experience into words. It’s so overwhelming, but so gratifying as well. I hope to look back at our blog and be proud of the work put into it, the writing, and the photography. I can’t wait to really become part of the blogging/travel blogging community, but for now, it’s nice to just trying to find myself in writing and experiences.

  • Hi dear! Glad you identified with this and welcome to the blogging community! Although it has it’s challenges, as you said, it’s so nice to look back on your blog and be proud of all the work that you put into it. Best wishes with all the ups and downs to come and please feel free to email me anytime if you have questions. 🙂

  • nouf

    Hi Margo , i just wanted to tell you that you inspired me to create a blog. my main reason is to keep a digital scrapbook of sorts. something to look back on ,a few months (or years!) from now. Thank you much for being inspirin
    g, and i wish you all the best <3